Recently the Eagle Lakes Aquatic Center opened and it is a smashing success! We have had overwhelming crowds, which is a nice problem to have, except… We need LIFEGUARDS to stay open, and right now, with all the pools in the system, we are running short! The County is pleading for anyone who has been a lifeguard, and wants a side job, to please contact them at email@example.com. The Lely High School Swim Team practices there and holds their swim meets there. Meanwhile, the other pools are open to the community IF they have lifeguards! The Aquatic Center is open from 10 AM to 7 PM during the week and 10 AM to 5 PM on the weekends. There is lots of time for families to enjoy each other and for the kids to play, now that the lightening has stopped. For those of you who haven’t been there yet, there is a baby pool for kids in diapers, and they need a lifeguard, and two slides where the kids climb up stairs and slide down a slope into a puddle of water (not much water, but it still needs a life guard), and then a big family pool with pool toys that delight the children and a huge “scooper” of water that dumps water out every three minutes. The kids love it! Finally there is the lap pool with two diving boards and a water aerobics area when the swim meets are not being held. The pool is big enough for lap swimming practice and water aerobics at the other end to please anyone, BUT it must have at least two lifeguards in order to remain open. During one swim meet last week, two life guards were there to carefully observe the swim teams and laps, but there were no other lifeguards to be had, so when many more people drove up to take their kids swimming, they were told the pools were closed because there were no lifeguards. If you were a lifeguard and would like to be hired for a few hours, for a few days a week, or for full time work, please use the email address above or call 239-252-4000 and leave a message for Jeanine McPherson, who is waiting for you to call and will return your call as soon as she is advised! This affects all the pools in the county government area, in case someone at the other end of town, or in Golden Gate reads this message: We Need You! All of You! Also, a very kind Kiwanis Club President, Terri Ballo from the Kiwanis Club of Greater Collier, came to the Kiwanis meeting and then to a meeting with Jeanine McPherson and me, and offered to sponsor a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Class for anyone wanting to become certified. They will pay half the cost and hopefully the person receiving the training can pay the other half, but if not, she will try to find a way to make it happen. What a dynamic gal Terri is! Remember, these classes AND the need, addresses all ages! If you are a senior or you are retired but would like to stay busy during the day, this is the job for YOU! If you are in college locally and want to earn a little extra cash, this is the job for you! If you are in high school and want to earn a little extra after school, we have the job for you! Just call Jeanine McPherson or email her, and she’ll do the rest! You can find Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to communicate with her directly about the instruction classes.
- This coming Saturday, October 27th from 9 AM to noon is the Iberia Bank Shred Party in the Iberia Bank parking lot on Marco Island. This is one event many people look forward to! You can get rid of all that old paperwork that you cannot trust to put in the trash because of confidential information or numbers. This is the place to get it all chopped up nicely and neatly, and you can just about watch your stuff being shredded right before your eyes. They ask for a $3 donation per box, not for Iberia Bank, but for a local charity. The Shred Party will send the proceeds to the Meals of Hope, a most worthy charity for sure. Just show up and they’ll do the rest. You might want to get there earlier than 11 AM because when the truck fills up, they stop. No new trucks will arrive to continue.
- Yes, we hear the questions about the Benderson Corp. steel structure (we call it the skeleton building) constantly and they are always followed by comments about how ugly it looks, how long it has been there, what an awful greeting to visitors and tourists riding in from the airport, etc. I will tell you from my end, all I can do is continue to ask, and from what I hear from staff, they continue to plead with the Benderson folks (I’ve been told they own more shopping centers around the country than anyone else) to please do what they promised! At least give the place an appearance of a shopping center. They have submitted plans to put a façade on the structure making it look like it has stores in there, but as you can see, nothing seems to happen. Just recently I received an update from our code enforcement people who say: “The violation continues, the fines continue to accrue, and the last inspection done for the permit was on 4/30/18. If another inspection isn’t completed by 10/30/18, or the permit isn’t extended, it will expire.” In my humble opinion, the code enforcement people should insist on them completing their agreement to put a façade on the awful construction or tear it down! I’ve heard rumors about why the BJ’s that was supposed to go in there did not; but what I’ve been informed about that situation was that BJ’s had every intent of going in to the building, everyone was moving forward, until BJ’s heard they had to pay for the traffic light near their entrance. BJ’s said they would pay because they knew that it was an ideal location with high traffic volume and visibility, BUT – it’s always in the “but,” isn’t it? – BJ’s wanted the traffic light closer to their entrance rather than on Market Street where everyone enters and exits the shopping center now. The FDOT said the light had to be at Market Street, as any closer to the intersection of Davis and Collier Boulevard would be dangerous. BJ’s said we’re paying for it, we want it where we say, the FDOT said no dice, and BJ’s walked away. This is the interpretation I heard and which I am repeating. So there it sits… the skeleton building looking ugly and it stands as an eyesore to the entrance to Collier County, the entrance to the nearby Sports Park in the early building stages, and we’re just stuck there!
- Mark your calendars: This year’s Santa Run will be held on Saturday, December 15th starting at 9 AM. Ted Beisler is again planning the event and inviting the East Naples Sheriff’s substation, the Greater Naples Fire Department, Parkside Elementary School, East Naples Civic Association, East Naples Foundation, and more. We will meet at 8:30 AM in the Parkside Elementary parking lot. Many of the teachers and the principal will also join us and most of them dress up for the occasion. The Ladies of Naples Lakes (I should call them the Angels of Naples Lakes) bag all the candy we give out to the children in Naples Manor and those who bike over from the next door facility of Whistler’s Cove. Each year (for the last 25 years) we do this and each year the children are thrilled when we arrive. Some members decorate and drive their own cars in the parade, the fire trucks are decorated, and again the ENCA planners haul out the Santa Sleigh, make sure everything is in working order, mount it on a flat bed, and Santa & Mrs. Santa greet the kids. The Lely High School Key Club (the high school division of Kiwanis Club) joins us and walks the streets handing out the bags of candy to the kids. The teachers and principal ride in a couple trucks and the kids scream with delight as they see their teacher riding by. Kids ride their bikes from street to street, joining in. You are all invited to join us if you’d like. Just decorate your car, meet us at Parkside, meet the coordinator and the sheriff’s cars, and become a part of a very nice parade.
- The East Naples Civic Association (ENCA) will begin working on an East Naples Master Plan for our area. All clubs who would like representation are invited, but only one person per club or HOA should be on the board, otherwise it would get horribly cumbersome. Donna Fiala will head up this effort on behalf of ENCA. Our meetings will be held on the first Monday of every month at 4 PM. If you are interested, please contact email@example.com. As we work out the details, I will get back to you, but please let me know if 4 PM on the first Monday of the month would work for you, so I can plan for all future meetings. Yes, things can change, but for planning purposes this is where we’ll begin.